‘UTTOXETER has been the happiest place I have ever lived’ a town minister has said as he prepares to say goodbye to head off to pastures new.
Reverend John Titlow, Uttoxeter United Reformed Church special projects minister, said he will not hang up his bible for good as he prepares to retire on January 31 – his 65th birthday – after 11 years serving the people of the town.
After his retirement, Reverend Titlow, along with his wife Barbara, will go to live in Ipstones and they have submitted an application in the hope of eventually moving to New Zealand where they have two daughters and grandchildren.
He said: “It can take around eight months to apply to move to New Zealand and we don’t know if we are going to get it yet as we need to fit the requirements.
“I am 65 on January 31 and have done 11 years in Uttoxeter and cannot bring anything fresh to it here.
“I am not going to hang up my bible for good. I will take a three month break and then see what opportunities are available. I will still work with the church for as much as possibly I can.
“My role has not necessarily been working with the church but more with the community.”
The popular minister dedicated as much of his time as possible to the community during his time in the town and was part of the 50 Plus Forum, Uttoxeter Community Action Group, the Crime Prevention Panel, Neighbourhood Forum, the Heath Community Centre Committee and helped with the early stages of the Big Local project.
Originally from London, Uttoxeter is the furthest place north Reverend Titlow has represented after also working in Bath, Brighton and Kent before making the big move.
He told the Advertiser: “I have got involved in the community as much as I could and represented people in any way that I could.
“Uttoxeter is as far north as I have covered. I am a Londoner and Euston Road used to be my limit.
“I was arguably surprised by how pleasant Uttoxeter is.
“I had been on holiday to Ashbourne and loved the area but I didn’t know such a lovely place existed.
“Uttoxeter is a very, very good place to live. I have been very happy in Uttoxeter as I love the people, love the place and love the facilities.
“It has been the happiest place I ever lived.
“I have worked across North Staffordshire, with a church in Longton and a number of churches across that area.
“We have found moving Uttoxeter to be a very healing experience as we came here during a difficult period.
“It was exhilarating when we came here as we were made to feel very welcome and loved in the church and in the community.
“I am sorry to leave the town.”
Reverend Titlow has two daughters in New Zealand and one son in Reading and will be setting off on his new adventure with his wife Barbara.